Summer is Here & Something New
from Vytal Health!

You’re sitting at your favorite coffee shop, sipping a morning coffee and basking in the warmth of the summer sun at last!  It is a glorious feeling and one we cherish in the midwest where the sun is sometimes MIA during the rest of the year.  But let’s also be mindful of the damage that incredible star can do to our skin!

 

In this newsletter, you will find out how to navigate the confusing arena of sunscreen safety as well as ways to pamper the skin-our largest organ, covering about 20 square feet!  We will point out several sunscreen brands that are safe as well as some to avoid because of the chemicals embedded in them.  If you want to know when you should toss out old sunscreen, read on! And if you’d like to baby your skin a bit, there are a few DIY recipes for having a summer spa day at home!    As always, if you know someone else who might benefit from this information, please share.

 

The Confusing World of Sunscreens

Just buy the one with the highest SPF, right?  Not so fast.  Most consumers do exactly that.  They choose a sunscreen product based on its sun protection factor, or SPF, often reaching for products with a high SPF value, assuming they offer the best protection from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet, or UV, rays. But that is often far from the truth.

SPF values are an unreliable measure of the effectiveness of sunscreens. A good sunscreen will provide equal broad-spectrum protection against both UVA and UVB rays. However, the SPF value reflects only how well a product will protect from UVB rays, the main cause of sunburn and non-melanoma skin cancers, such as squamous cell carcinoma (von Thaler 2010). SPF values do not reflect a product’s ability to protect from other harmful UV rays, such as UVA, which penetrate the skin more deeply and are associated with skin aging and cancer.

So what now?  Lucky for all of us there is an organization out there that has done all of the research for us.  Perhaps you’ve heard of The Environmental Working Group? EWG is an amazing resource for anyone wanting to live a cleaner life-everything from cosmetics to foods, this nonprofit has spent decades researching what we put into our bodies as well as what we put on our skin and guiding us to be smart consumers.  

We’ve plucked several tippy-top sunscreens for your easy reference. We pulled only the highest rated. Some are easily available at either Outpost or Whole Foods. Others might require an online purchase. 1 is the best rating. However, feel free to explore the EWG website yourself if you’re curious and have the time. 

A Few of the Safest Sunscreen Brands

and Ones to Avoid

                                                            Safest Brands:
  • All Good Sport Sunscreen Butter Stick, SPF 50+
  • All Good Sunscreen Butter, SPF 50+
  • All Good Kid’s Sunscreen Butter Stick, SPF 50+
  • All Good Sunscreen Butter, Tinted, SPF 50+
  • Badger Active Natural Mineral Sunscreen Cream, Lavender, SPF 30 (Note: 10 of Badger’s 13 products are rated 1 with the remaining 3 a still pretty safe rating at 2 so rather than list them all here, know this brand is safe). 
  • Earth Mama Kids Uber Sensitive Mineral Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 40
  • Earth Mama Baby Mineral Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 40
  • Earth Mama Baby Baby Face Mineral Sunscreen Face Stick, SPF 40
  • Earth Mama Kids Mineral Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30
  • 365 Everyday Value Mineral Sunscreen Sport Lotion, SPF 30
    • (365 is Whole Foods brand)
  • thinksport Everyday Face Mineral Sunscreen Lotion, Naturally Tinted, SPF 30+
  • thinksport Kids Body & Face Sunscreen Stick, SPF 30
  • thinksport Body & Face Sunscreen Stick, SPF 30

                                                            Brands to Avoid:

  • Panama Jack-Their best product is rated a 7.  Best to toss it out if you previously purchased this one
  • 365 Whole Foods Market Kid’s Sunscreen Clear Spray, Fragrance-Free, SPF 50

    • Although we might think all 365 products are good, as it turns out this one is much more toxic with a rating of 6 (with 10 being the worst)
  • Aveeno- More than half of their sunscreen products are rated a 5 or worse
  • Coppertone: Probably America’s most popular brand but also most of their 51 products are rated 7 or worse.

Sunscreen Expiration Dates

According to Mayo Clinic, sunscreens are required by the Food and Drug Administration to remain at their original strengths for at least three years. This means that you can use leftover sunscreen from one year to the next. But if you keep your sunscreen in a warm place like the car or your boat, it has likely expired before its time because of the extreme heat it’s been exposed to. So toss those out. When you’re at the beach or another equally warm spot, wrap your sunscreen in a towel to protect it from getting overheated. 

Keep in mind that if you use sunscreen generously and frequently, a bottle of sunscreen won’t last long. Generally, a liberal application is 1 ounce (30 milliliters) — the amount in a shot glass — to cover exposed parts of the body. You might need to apply more, depending on your body size. If you have a 4-ounce (118-milliliter) bottle, you’ll use about one-fourth of it during one application.

DIY Summer Spa Recipes

Hopefully, you’ve learned to incorporate some self-care strategies into your routine during the pandemic.  Here’s a great one to launch this summer: skin-soothing DIY spa treatments.  

Doing more walking now that the weather has become reliably better? Treat your toes to a little soak. This is as simple as it gets.

  • 1 cup Epsom Salts
  • 3 drops of your favorite essential oil 
    • Tea tree is good for skin and lavender is a great scent to just feel like your in a spa!
  • 1 -1 ½ gallons of as warm as you can stand water
  • (optional) 2 TBS organic coconut oil
  • Mix together in a large basin or even just a large bowl or pan if needed! Soak for 15 minutes.

You’ve seen the spa pictures with the relaxing customer sporting cucumber slices on their eyes, right? Well, this takes it one step further by creating an eye mask made up of more than just slices. And like the foot soak, it’s so easy!  

Recipe: Take a cold organic cucumber with the skin still on and grate it over a soft flour sack towel on top of a plate. By grating the cucumber, you’re releasing active enzymes to calm and soothe this delicate area of the skin.  

Once you’ve finished grating, wrap the pieces like a burrito. Think of the towel as the tortilla. Rest your head back and apply to closed eyes for an instant soothing effect.

This easy avocado face mask soothes sun-exposed summer skin, alleviating redness and dryness. Loaded with rich fatty acids as well as Vitamin E, avocado moisturizes the skin while honey can help with a variety of skin concerns including acne, eczema, and psoriasis. It can also help with healing and inflammation.

 

Ingredients for 2 masks

  • 1 ripe organic avocado
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons organic extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • optional: 2 tbsp rolled oats

In a large bowl, blend together your preferred ingredients. Stir until smooth. Apply mask to face, let sit for 15-20 minutes, then rinse with warm water using a washcloth to help remove the mask. I do this over the kitchen sink with the disposal so I don’t clog the bathroom sink!

Achieving health isn’t always easy. It takes dedication, knowledge, and support. Often, it takes a team approach: a doctor to guide you, a nutritionist to teach you, and a health coach to help you reach your goals. And that’s just the short list.

Many of us seek the support of other people and services in the community: gyms and yoga studios, personal trainers, acupuncturists, massage therapists, and healthy food vendors, just to name a few.

Wouldn’t it be great if somehow it could all be more affordable?

We thought you’d say yes.

As part of our ongoing goal to provide our members with as much value as possible, we’re excited to announce the addition of VYTAL HEALTH PERKS! 

Partnering with health-and-wellness businesses in our community, we’ve negotiated discounts on products and services that will help you achieve your health goals. See who we’ve partnered with so far, and look for new additions to your PERKS in every newsletter going forward.

Mudita: (Sanskrit) taking delight in the happiness of others

Mudita magazine is a welllness and lifestyle magazine that strives to empower individuals to incorporate wellness into their own lives, educate through a variety of different approaches, and build connections between people within the community.

Mudita is offering 15% off their online and print copy of their magazine exclusively to Vytal Health members. Just use the code: VYTALHEALTH at check out (online only)

Yoga at the Loft is for everybody & every body

Firefly (located in Wawautosa, WI) is all about listening to and respecting our bodies!

Whether this is your first or 100th yoga class, their experienced instructors offer modifications so you can safely enjoy our wide variety of classes.

You’re in really good hands, so don’t stress about your current level. Their motto is, real is better than perfect – come as you are!

Vytal Health Member Perk: 3 weeks unlimited $39.00 & Summer Special is 20 class for $199  

Cooked is a fully prepared meal delivery service that specializes in delicious, health conscious and convenient meals. Our menu rotates weekly and includes Whole30, gluten free, and vegetarian options. To create these delicious meals, we work closely with local farmers that provide us with unsprayed, organic produce and meat that was raised without the use of antibiotics or growth hormones. Best of all, 100% of our profits fund charitable programs.

As a member of Vytal Health, you have access to this exclusive discount with Cooked: Use code VYTALHEALTH at checkout for 15% off every order!

The Wisconsin Athletic Club’s (WAC) in downtown Milwaukee’s mission is to “make a difference in people’s lives” extends to the businesses, organizations and neighbors that surround our clubs.

Everyone comes to the club with a different goal, from dropping a dress size, crossing a finish line or climbing a mountain, to being able to pick up a grandchild, lowering blood pressure or simply climbing a flight of stairs. Whatever your goal may be, their priority is to make you feel welcome, comfortable and important every time you visit.

Vytal Health Member Perk: Two week guest pass to the downtown MKE location

Rishi Tea began in 1997 when Joshua Kaiser, founder and tea buyer, recognized that the traditional handcrafted teas he grew so fond of during his travels in Asia were rarely available elsewhere. Joshua felt that North American consumers would embrace artisan tea as they did single origin coffee and fine varietal wine. We travel thousands of miles each year to the diverse points of origin where our teas are harvested, maintaining the personal relationships we have developed over the years with farmers and artisans whose families have been making traditional teas for generations.

Vytal Health Membership Perk: 15% discount once per customer, just use code VYTALHEALTH at check out (online only)

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